QIAGEN N.V. recognized the annual World TB Day 2019 by highlighting its growing global commitment to preventive screening and treatment for latent tuberculosis (TB) infection, a widespread condition that can lead to active TB disease in vulnerable patients. QIAGEN is investing in several areas regarding ease of use, throughput, screening efficiency and test availability for QuantiFERON-TB worldwide: In late 2018 QIAGEN and DiaSorin launched a CE-marked read-out kit for QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus for use on DiaSorin’s widely used LIAISON platforms.

Efficient automated solution for TB screening programs

So, the rollout of QFT-Plus as part of DiaSorin’s broad menu of tests; on more than 7,000 LIAISON instruments in hospitals and laboratories around the world; adds an efficient automated solution for TB screening programs. Availability of QFT-Plus read-out kits for use on LIAISON platforms; is expected in 2019 in the United States and in 2020 in China. However, QIAGEN has partnered with Hamilton Robotics and Tecan for single tube-handling solutions; to offer high-efficiency automation of preanalytical processing steps.

In early 2019 QIAGEN announced plans to develop a novel and proprietary solution; QuantiFERON-TB Access (QFT® Access) that is dedicated and tailored to the needs of low-resource regions with a high disease burden of TB. QFT Access is designed to pair ultrasensitive digital detection of latent TB infection with a complete workflow created with a focus on cost efficiency and ease of use. Above all, QIAGEN is developing QFT Access in a new partnership with Ellume, an Australian developer of digitally enabled diagnostics.

The fourth generation of QuantiFERON-TB technology

So, clinical trials for QFT Access are planned to start in 2019, and commercialization is; expected to begin in 2020. “Our commitment is stronger than ever to partner with the World Health Organization; STOP-TB, and other organizations as well as governments and healthcare providers; around the world to eradicate this disease. With over 10 million deaths a year from TB; the disease burden in terms of human lives and social and economic impact is enormous;” said Peer M. Schatz.

“Leaders in the fight increasingly recognize the critical role of screening for latent TB infection and treating at-risk patients to prevent development of active, contagious tuberculosis. This is the first World TB Day since the high-level United Nations meeting in September 2018; where heads of state agreed to mobilize $13 billion a year by 2022 to implement prevention and care for TB, including preventive testing and treatment for 30 million people.”

So, adoption of QIAGEN’s QFT Plus is rapidly growing as global efforts to control tuberculosis intensify; and authorities turn to QFT Plus, the industry-leading test for latent TB to replace the less reliable; more time-consuming tuberculin skin test, a 120-year-old technology. QFT-Plus is the fourth generation of QuantiFERON-TB technology; combining a new flexible blood collection workflow with innovative CD4/CD8 T cell technology to enable the most comprehensive TB immune response detection. However, the proprietary technology of QFT Plus offers the potential to provide important insights for both low and high-risk populations.